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GlassBuild America | A Trade Show That Gets Exhibitors

Not all building materials trade shows are a good investment for all exhibiting industry companies. 


  1. Companies do not set themselves up for success at trade shows.
  2. Trade show organizers do not help exhibitors succeed.

Sometimes, to get better results from your trade show budget, you need to go to different shows. Many companies simply choose bigger shows like IBS, AIA or World of Concrete. But it’s much harder to get noticed at these shows because of their size. Choosing a show due to the large number of total attendees doesn’t factor in the small number of them who are good prospects for you.

At a large show that appeals to a broad audience, the number of real prospects for your glass or fenestration business could be less than 20 percent of the total.

GlassBuild America is smaller show in overall attendance than these others, but it may be a much better show for you. Here’s why: 100 percent attendees are interested in glass, windows and doors.

Step one in selling glass, windows or doors (and all the components and equipment that come with them) is to have the support of the glaziers, fabricators, dealers, distributors and specifiers who focus on these products. If these people go to a trade show, they go to GlassBuild.

If you want to grow your sales in the building materials industry, you need the support of contractors, dealers, distributors and specifiers. You can promote your product at another show only to lose the sale when these important influencers change your customer's mind.

GlassBuild Helps Exhibitors

I upset a lot of associations and trade show management companies because they treat exhibitors like second class citizens. Their priority is meeting the needs of the attendee. If they don’t put on a great show, attendance will drop, there will be fewer exhibitors and less money to make it a great show.

But another reason I like GlassBuild is that its organizer, the National Glass Association, has made changes that will benefit the companies that exhibit. Andrew Haring, NGA’s vice president of business development, comes from C.R. Laurence, an industry manufacturer.

Rather than bringing in someone from another association or trade show management company, NGA brought in someone with industry experience.

Haring is bringing his industry and exhibitor knowledge to GlassBuild to make it a better experience for exhibitors. He and his team have also been interviewing other manufacturers to find out how to make it a better show.

With this background, the NGA is focused on increasing engagement opportunities across the show with more networking and demonstration spaces. They’re also going outside the box, working one-on-one with exhibitors to push unique brand experiences beyond the conventional trade show model. Most importantly, they’re listening.  

Ask yourself: are you exhibiting at the right shows?

If you’re in the glass, window or door business, shouldn’t you be at North America’s largest trade show made just for the industry? It’s GlassBuild.

Mark Mitchell is the CEO of Whizard Strategy.